I was listening to a show on BBC radio about Tchaikovsky, and some related historic topics. At one point there was this piece of music that briefly played that was on the glockenspiel or a similar sounding percussion instrument, and I found particularly moving.

I am running under the assumption that it was Tchaikovsky, but am not certain.

It was just this single percussion instrument playing this beautifully eery and delicate melody.

I have not heard this piece before, and I don't believe it is any part of the popular nutcracker suite....

Does anyone have any ideas based on my vague information?

  • It might be the famous waltz from The Sleeping Beauty, which has a glockenspiel passage. Another piece in which a glockenspiel or similar instrument can be heard is the Capriccio Italien, but it has not a very important role.
    – JMVanPelt
    Aug 27, 2016 at 3:54

2 Answers 2


Probably the Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy (from The Nutcracker indeed).


But the instrument used (normally) is not (if that is indeed the piece looked for) the glockenspiel but the celesta. The sound of the two instruments is rather similar, but the celesta is said to be softer. I find it to have a more prolonged sustain and louder than the glockenspiel (the celesta is a much bigger instrument, with a wood enclosure like a miniature piano).

  • No. Like I mentioned it is not part of the nutcraker suite.
    – Scorb
    Aug 24, 2016 at 19:09
  • Ops, my bad then. May I suggest you edit your answer to explicit that it is definitely not the Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy (it's not the same just saying "I don't believe...", and I'll just delete my answer. Aug 24, 2016 at 20:21
  • 1
    I would still retain the possibility of being a celesta rather than a glockenspiel, though, as I believe it was rather more used in the turn of 19th cent. than the glockenspiel, due to it's volume and playability. Aug 24, 2016 at 20:28

There is a glockenspiel part in the "Sleeping Beauty Waltz."

The excerpt can be heard as a solo in the below video.

And here it is in the piece as written.

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